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Description and performance of a fiber-optic confocal fluorescence spectrometer

  • Author(s): Richards-Kortum, R
  • Durkin, A
  • Zeng, J
  • et al.

We describe a fiber-optic-based confocal fluorescence spectrometer for obtaining depth-resolved, attenuated fluorescence emission spectra with lateral resolution of several microns and depth resolution of tens of microns. The confocal optics of the spectrometer are small, inexpensive, and easy to construct and to interface to existing spectrometers. We compare the performance of this system to that of conventional fluorescence spectrometers for nonscattering homogeneous and inhomogeneous samples. We demonstrate that the confocal measurements readily provide information about the sample geometry and optical properties not available from nonconfocal measurements. Potential applications of the technique are discussed.

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